Lawyer-turned-author Susan Cain admits she’s an introvert and has encountered some challenges because of it. But she firmly believes that introverts have important contributions to make to U.S. business that employers usually aren’t aware of. That’s because employers have been trained, says Cain, to seek out extroverts. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is Cain’s most recent book (Crown, 2012).
Let’s look at introverts and leadership. Good leaders must have charisma, right? Meaning they must be extroverts, right? No, as it turns out, that’s wrong. Cain notes that the ranks of effective CEOs are full of such introverts as Charles Schwab, Bill Gates, Sara Lee CEO Brenda Barnes, and former Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CEO James Copeland.
One study of 128 companies and their CEOs showed that extroverted leaders made more money than their quieter counterparts, but their companies didn’t do as well as those led by introverts.
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, profiled CEOs who were known not for their charisma but for extreme humility combined with intense professional will. Their companies generated higher stock returns than those with flashier leaders.
Wharton management professor, Adam Grant, told Cain about one outstanding—and outstandingly introverted—leader. He is a U.S. Air Force wing leader, one rank below general. Being with people too much makes him lose focus, so he has trained himself to find time for thinking and recharging. He speaks quietly and is more interested in listening and gathering information than in asserting his own opinion. Introverted leaders draw the best from their subordinates.
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The whole world doesn’t talk too much. The subtitle of Cain’s book is, according to her, misleading: It is Europe and North America that can’t stop talking. Asia, by contrast, tends toward a very different, much more respectful, culture, in which people listen much and speak little. Cain believes we Westerners would do well to take a page from the East’s book and tone ourselves down a bit. Who knows, we might learn something.
How can you go about training your employees—both introverts and extroverts—to be leaders? It’s never easy to find the time or the money, but leadership training has a tremendous ROI value for employers.
The Leadership Library provides you with a sensible (and economic) solution.
The Leadership Library for Employees allows you to:
- Train on demand. Employees can complete training anytime from anywhere. All they need is a computer and an Internet connection.
- Reinforce training topics with engaging graphics and quizzes to test their knowledge.
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- Save costs. The more you train, the more cost-effective the training becomes.
The Leadership for Employees Library is a Web-based training tool that can be utilized by any organization. All you need is a computer and Internet access, and the library is open 24/7.
The Leadership for Employees Library provides tools and information to employees in a leadership position, or aspiring leaders, to improve their business, leadership, and professional skills.
The courses cover a range of leadership and managerial topics, including the following:
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- Crash Course in Leadership Skills
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- Organizing and Planning for Success: What Employees Need to Know
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- Workplace Stress Management Training — Wellness Training
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- Training the Trainer: Effective Techniques for Dynamic Training
This turnkey service requires no setup, no course development time, no software installation, and no new hardware. Your employees can self-register, and training can be taken anytime (24/7), anywhere there is a PC and an Internet connection. Courses take only about 30 minutes to complete.
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TrainingToday automatically documents training. As trainees sign on, their identifications are automatically registered. When the program is completed, the trainee’s score is entered. So, when you want to see who has been trained on any subject, or look at the across-the-board activity of any one employee, it’s all there, instantly available.
Course certificates can be automatically generated from within the training center and are automatically retained for recordkeeping purposes.
Get started today on helping your employees be the best they can be!